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J. Korean Ceram. Soc. > Volume 61(2); 2024 > Article
Journal of the Korean Ceramic Society 2024;61(2): 267-278.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43207-023-00354-w
Synergistic effect of embossed Cu current collector and potassium nitrate for achieving dense lithium deposition and improving cycle life in anode-free Li metal batteries
Suhyun Ahn1, Hyeonjun Song2, Sucheol Kim1,3, Hojae Lee4, Young‑Beom Kim4,6, Kihun Jang5, Minsoo Ha5, Heejoon Ahn1,2,3,6
1Department of Organic and Nano Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04763, Republic of Korea
2Department of Battery Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04763, Republic of Korea
3Human-Tech Convergence Program, Department of Organic and Nano Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04763, Republic of Korea
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04763, Republic of Korea
5Jeong Gwang Co., LTD, 861-41, Dongsan-ri, Cheonbuk-Myeon, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, 38039, Republic of Korea
6Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04763, Republic of Korea
Correspondence  Heejoon Ahn ,Email: ahn@hanyang.ac.kr
Received: October 11, 2023; Revised: November 7, 2023   Accepted: November 16, 2023.  Published online: December 18, 2023.
ABSTRACT
Anode-free lithium metal batteries (AFLMB) operate solely with lithium (Li) in the lithiated cathode, eliminating the mass and volume of the anode to maximize energy density of the battery. However, uneven Li deposition can lead to the formation of Li dendrites, hindering practical applications due to issues like solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) breakage and low coulombic efficiency (CE). To address these challenges, we investigated the synergistic effect of applying a 3D-structured current collector (CC) and KNO3 for Li deposition control. We fabricated an embossed Cu CC with a 3D structure using a copper nanoparticle (Cu NP) slurry and intense pulsed light (IPL) sintering techniques. When KNO3 electrolyte additives were used in conjunction with the manufactured 3D embossed Cu, we observed a significant improvement in cycle life. The KNO3 additive prevented the top plating of Li through an electrostatic shielding effect, while the anion contributed to dense Li deposition by forming a stable SEI layer, such as Li3N. Consequently, the combination of embossed Cu and KNO3 enabled thick and compact Li deposition, reducing Li loss during the plating and stripping processes and thereby improving the lifespan of the cell. In AFLMB matched with NCM811, capacity retention after 50 cycles increased to 52%, compared to 0.8% in the absence of electrolyte additives, demonstrating stable operation even after more than 100 cycles. Therefore, combining a thin, 3D-structured CC with an electrolyte additive capable of controlling Li deposition presents a promising strategy for enhancing the practical use of carbonate electrolyte-based AFLMB through synergistic effects.
Key words: Anode-free lithium metal batteries · 3D structure current collector · IPL sintering · Electrostatic shielding
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